University is one of those patriarchal institutions which gives with one hand and takes with another. When you come here, there are thousands of you, tens of thousands, so in some sense as an individual you’re rather faceless. And in some sense as an individual you’re at the bottom of the power heirarchy of the university. So there’s a crushing institutional weight that comes with being a part of a big university. The depression and the anxiety rates are quite high. On the other hand you’re benefitting from the university. That’s the kind of bipolar nature of the symbol. It’s the tyrant and its benevolent tradition at the same time. It’s moulding you, you could even say it’s crushing you, because an educational system does that. But at the same time it’s like, well, unless you allow yourself to get crushed by it you’re not going to get the benefit.
That’s the paradoxical relationship that individuals have with culture everywhere and at all times. Without culture you’re nothing, but with culture you’re a cog in some sense. The tension between those two things is continual and constant. You can think about it as an existential constant. Ever since there’ve been complex human societies, and maybe even when there were only tribal human societies, that’s been a problem for the individual.